27th November 2020

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”): Dates to remember

Following on from the Employment Team’s previous blog on the recent updates to the Job Retention Scheme, there are some important dates we would like you to remember to ensure that you get your claims submitted to HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) in time.

The CJRS was due to come to an end on 31 October 2020 however, as you will know, the CJRS has been extended across the UK until 31 March 2021. Any claims for the period up to 31 October must be submitted by 30 November 2020.

The Government will pay 80% of employees’ usual wages for any hours not worked up to the maximum of £2,500. The Government will review this in January 2021 and they may choose to lower their contribution, depending on the restrictions at that time.

Under the new guidance, a claim must be submitted to HMRC within 14 days of the end of the previous calendar month unless there is a reasonable excuse for failing to make the claim in time (for example, claims must be submitted by 14 December for the claim period ending 30 November).

The Government has given guidance as to what amounts to a reasonable excuse and the examples detailed are as follows:

  • your partner or another close relative died shortly before the claim deadline
  • you had an unexpected stay in hospital that prevented you from dealing with your claim
  • you had a serious or life-threatening illness, including Coronavirus related illnesses, which prevented you from making your claim (and no one else could claim for you)
  • a period of self-isolation prevented you from making your claim (and no one else could make the claim for you)
  • your computer or software failed just before or while you were preparing your online claim service issues with HMRC online services prevented you from making your claim
  • a fire, flood or theft prevented you them from making your claim
  • postal delays that you could not have predicted prevented you from making your claim
  • delays related to a disability you have prevented you from making your claim
  • a HMRC error prevented you from making your claim

Employees do not need to have been furloughed previously in order to claim furlough pay from 1 November 2020. However, there is a crucial change from the 1 December 2020, as employers can no longer claim furlough pay under the CJRS in respect of any employees working out their notice period.

As with the previous guidance, HMRC may later audit employers to ensure the scheme is being used correctly. Therefore, it is crucial that employers keep a record of any documents supporting their claims in case this is later requested.

Fiona Knox, Trainee Solicitor
Employment Law
Blackadders LLP


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